Tribune press service
Panchkula, September 18
Waste management, the most basic of all civic amenities, remains a sore point for the Panchkula Municipal Corporation as it has not been able to set up a proper landfill for garbage disposal.
The city generates around 120 metric tons of waste per day and in the absence of a solid waste management plant at the Jhuriwala landfill, untreated waste is disposed of at the site in violation of solid waste management rules, 2016.
A panel formed by the National Green Tribunal also served notice on the civic body in this regard in July this year.
The MC, surprisingly, has yet to submit its response to the opinion, forcing the panel to issue a recall and giving the civic body one last chance to submit a detailed report to the NGT.
The NGT panel had inspected the Jhuriwala landfill site before seeking comments from the civic body.
No fencing, no planting and no waste treatment plants at the site are among the violations of the provisions of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, said Judge Pritam Pal, chairman of the NGT panel and former judge of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana.
However, Mayor Kulbhushan Goyal reiterated that a solid waste management plant will soon be built at the Jhuriwala landfill site as part of a cluster plan.
Meanwhile, trans-Ghaggar residents continue to protest the Jhuriwala landfill site, saying it will have long-term consequences for flora and fauna.
âThe rules require that landfills be located away from built-up areas, forest areas, protected areas, bodies of water and historic sites. Are these rules not applicable to Panchkula? Asked BR Mehta, Senior Vice President of the Area 25 Resident Welfare Association (RWA).
After Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s instructions to stop garbage disposal at the Sector 23 dump on June 2, the MC started dumping garbage in Jhuriwala without any waste treatment plan.
While landfill remains a problem, other aspects of the city’s waste management also need to be improved.
Door-to-door waste collection, which is in the hands of private collectors working on contract, is also not up to the task.
âAfter door-to-door collection, the waste is dumped in landfills in all sectors. But it is also not picked up at a rate that is required for timely customs clearance. There has been no improvement in the garbage collection system in recent years, rather it has deteriorated to some extent, âsaid SK Nayar, President of the Citizens’ Welfare Association (CWA).
To improve the overall efficiency of waste management, the Panchkula Municipal Corporation engaged an NGO – Feedback Foundation – for door-to-door collection, separation, treatment and disposal of waste. The project, which was reported in Sector 12-A, was expected to be implemented in other sectors in a phased manner. However, before that happened, private waste collectors took up arms, claiming it would rob them of a living.
Under pressure, the civic body finally had to delay the project.
Mayor Kulbhushan Goyal said: âUltimately, we will have to seek help from the private sector for better waste management.